Tag Archives: photo

Fall and the Drive-By Photo Op

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Being a native of California, I scientifically lack the gene required to flourish in a cold climate – cold being, anything under 60 degrees.  Seriously, it’s true. There is a grant-able study in there somewhere, I am sure of it!

Therefore, having chosen to live in the Midwest (and by choose, I mean going all pioneer woman and falling in love with a country boy – True Love By Way of Kitty Dance and a Bucking Horse), I have had to rely on instincts from my ancient ancestors, ugly shoes and, at times, the cat’s pooper scooper (A California Girl’s Rural Winter Survival Guide) in order to survive.

However, there is a bright spot to living in a place where all vegetation turns into standing firewood for months on end each year.  Just prior to becoming winter skeletons, the trees and bushes turn, if only for a brief time, into the most amazing parade of yellows, oranges and reds.  It is truly beautiful.

This fall season has been particularly stunning where I live.  So of course, I spent the whole of the Fall season running around trying to get “the perfect photo” to share with Sweet Spot visitors.

Some of the most amazing displays are along the main highway I traverse on a daily basis.  Unfortunately, I quickly discovered, on my 60+ stretch of frequented highway, there is virtually no place to safely pull over for Vista Views and Photo Ops.  I suppose this is to keep the foreigners (i.e. people from Kansas) from stopping until well across our state.   Anyway, since I did not desire my epitaph to read “died in pursuit of a pretty picture of trees” and the “drive-by” photo always looked exactly like what it was, a crazy lady trying to drive and take pictures on a highspeed interstate highway at the same time,

Crazy Lady Photo Drive-By

Crazy Lady Highway Photo Drive-By

I ditched the effort.

Thus, I resorted to skulking around back roads, byways and onto peoples’ private property – which can be precarious in a place where the guns outnumber the residents 2 to 1 – to take photos.

In the end, the one Utopian Fall Photo I was so desperately in search of eluded me. But maybe this collection of my favorite photos (and one stolen from a friend), make their own kind of perfection:

Fall in the MidwestFall in the MidwestFall in MidwestFall in MidwestPhoto by: Nollie Moore

Fall in MIdwestFall in Midwest

If you want to see the most beautiful fall display, I guess you will have to someday come and drive our Midwest highway yourself…just don’t plan on stopping.

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Things That Go Bump in the Night

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Things that go bump in the night.

or….

Kids who discover the photo booth on your new Ipad and experiment without your knowledge.

Boy as man eating shark?

Boy as man eating shark with braces?

And as with most sibling activities in my house – separate but equal is the name of the game.

Other boy as man eating shark

Other boy as man eating shark

My life holds few distinctions, but I think it is safe to say the fact that my boys are confirmed goofballs is one of them.

I am just lucky that way!

Today is a Good Day

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Today is a good day.

Today I get to board a plane to begin our annual end-of-summer-baseball-is-finally-finished-travel-blowout-bonanza!

There is nothing more exciting than boarding a plane  at the start of a travel adventure.

I apologize in advance for my possible lack of attention to Sweet Spot over the next  weeks while  searching for Sweet Spots around and abroad!

As a family we have come a long way since our first days of travel, but one thing I know for sure – some will be good, some will be bad, some will by hysterical, some will be amazing, and above all…

When all fails…cry.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

4 Things to Know About Raising Country Kids

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Yes, I seem to be running a theme of Country Living lately (Top 10 Clues You Are Not Cut Out For Country Life).  No rhyme or reason, just where my brain is roaming around on these hot summer days leading up to Fourth of July!

Today, my most recent article about raising country kids is running over at ParentSociety.com.

I grew up in the suburbs, lived in the city, and then moved to the country when my kids came along. I did not expect there to be any difference when it came to raising my kids in the country as opposed to the city/suburbs. Kids are kids, how different could it be? But I am here to tell you I was naive as a turkey on Thanksgiving…

Yes, I was naive – but my kids have educated me well.  I mean really, who needs shoes or a license to drive anyway?  Have I said to much?  Alright, already, just go read this quick little piece and find out the rest!  Whether you are planning on ever being a Country Parent or not, you just might be glad you did! Go Here!

4 Things to Know About Raising Country Kids

Today’s Best Moment: Friday, 6/29

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Today, actually a few minutes ago, I asked my son to climb one of his favorite trees so I could take a picture for an upcoming blog post.  He quickly scaled his tree like no monkey ever could.  I was suddenly reminded of a moment when he was around 6 years old. My Mom, Grandma,  was visiting.  Grandma went outside to see what he was doing and found him as high up in his tree as was possible to get.

Grandma called up to him:

 “You are so high, could you come down, I am afraid for you”

To which my son, without missing a beat, replied:

“Grandma, you will just have to conquer your fears.”

My Mom and I still laugh about it.

I hope his tree lives forever.

Today’s Best Moment: Wednesday, 6/20

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I am having trouble keeping up with work and writing this summer. Could it be that I am doing too much of this…? One can only ponder.

Today’s Best Moment: Sunday, 4/8

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Las Vegas at night.

I won a few dollars (no really, I mean actually $2.00).  Then,  I lost the $2.00.   So, I went to watch the Bellagio Fountains – which are free,  and still by far my favorite thing on the Vegas Strip. Yes, even better than the Jack Sparrow impersonator.  It was a good night.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

Today’s Best Moment: Thursday, April 5

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Photo By: Paula Danner

Photo by: Paula Danner

Devil’s Bridge – Sedona, Arizona

We had to hike to get there.  I didn’t even panic when they walked across.  Ok, that is a lie.  I did panic, a little. But man, it was cool.

The truth is, the best moment may very well have been afterwards,   playing football with them in the hotel pool. That was cool, too.

For more on this adventure, finding the bridge and living to tell about it –   Go Here!

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

Today’s Best Moment: Tuesday, March 13

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**Cheese Alert**

My 10 year old son had said his goodbyes and headed out the door to go to a friends house.

Five minutes later he comes running into the room where I am working, with the most beautiful bunch of fresh picked flowers, in a vase with water.  A hug and an “I love you, Mom” later, back out the door he goes to the friends house.  Leaving me choked up, happy, feeling loved and hoping the neighbors don’t mind…

What is life without a little cheese.

Ode to Chris the Caveman

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My son was an action figure connoisseur of sorts.  As a kid, he spent hours engaged in elaborate battles with his huge collection.  These ‘campaigns’ would continue for days on end and until completion, I was not allowed to alter their tactical arrangement in any way.  In the majority of these battles, an action figure he named Chris the Caveman (of mysterious origins) was invariably the leader and subsequent conqueror.  I asked my son once, why?, and he replied that his battles required super-hero strength against extreme powers and Chris with his ripped muscles seemed like the man for the job…

Head over to Mamapedia, where I am honored to be a featured writer today, to find out how Chris the Caveman  aides in this Mom’s fight against the most powerful, and sneaky opponent of all time!

Go here!

A Decade of Wisdom

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I have a son. I have had him for a decade.  Apparently, 10 years is a long enough time for some to acquire a significant amount of knowledge and I have, consequently, learned a vast amount from him.  Not the usual wisdom one might aspire to but, I have come to believe,  he is definitely onto something.  What, exactly, I couldn’t really say; but valuable, to be sure. And, what good is knowledge if not shared? Therefore, in the interest of fairness, here are some of the Decade Boy’s most admired words of wisdom.

Why goof of tomorrow when you can goof off today.

Girls who chase boys are pathetic.

Smart people are often “over-rated”.

The enjoyment of any activity is always increased by the removal of all authority figures.

School (work) could actually be fun in Heelys…and, of course, no teachers (bosses).

The song “Animal Crackers in My Soup” is worth singing repeatedly after changing the word “Soup” to “Poop”.

School is completely unnecessary, just “figure it out.”

Forget motivational speeches, prizes, or perks…you want results?  Show me the money!

Which brings us to:

Career goal: “To be Rich.”

Most Memorable Quote:

“All the seasons of Childhood are wasted while in School.”

And lastly:

The person who decided it was a good idea to have 5 days of school/work to only 2 days of weekend was the dumbest person on the planet.

Confucius say: He who passes gas in church sits in his own pew.

Decade Boy say:  When all else fails…kick butt.

Like I said…clearly onto something.

For more Pre-teen isms –  A Decade of Wisdom – Go Here!

Today’s Best Moment: Lake Tahoe, CA – Take 2

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Lake Tahoe, CA – Take 2, December 2011

Last Day Snowboarding: Today, more snow, less people, and still there is that lake.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

Today’s Best Moment: Lake Tahoe, CA

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Lake Tahoe, December 2011.

End of snowboarding day.  Not enough snow, too many people, but there is always that lake.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

Today’s Best Moment: Santa Cruz, CA

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Sunset in Santa Cruz,  California –  Surfers grabbing the last waves of the day. December, 2011.

Mid run to the water entrance, a surfer stopped to catch a moment of the sunset. We caught it with him.

For more Sweet Spot Travels: Go Here!

Moon Over Missouri River

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“I like to think that the moon is there, even if I am not looking at it.” Albert Einstein

This is what greeted me at the door upon leaving work last night.